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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Hugo D Critchley

Professor Hugo D Critchley

Hugo Critchley

Professor Hugo D Critchley

Chair of Psychiatry
T: +44 (0)1273 678336
Location: Office 5, CISC, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RR

DA: Christina Lee
T: +44 (0)1273 873833

Other roles: Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science; Head of the Department of Neuroscience
Areas of expertise:
Psychiatry; neuropsychiatry; interoception; ADHD; Tourette's Syndrome
Research areas: Interoceptive awareness (consciousness of internal bodily state); dissociative symptoms such as derealisation and depersonalisation in psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety


Prof Critchley trained in physiology and medicine at the University of Liverpool and gained his DPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford.  He then embarked on his psychiatry training, and has pursued his interest in brain imaging studies for the last 20 years.  He was based at the KCL Institute of Psychiatry in London, before moving to the UCL Institute of Neurology.  In 2006 Prof Critchley left his position as Principal Research Fellow / Senior Clinical Fellow at the Wellcome Department of imaging neuroscience, to join Brighton and Sussex Medical School as the Foundation Chair in Psychiatry.


Professor Hugo Critchley pursues a lifelong interest in normal and abnormal human behaviour from the perspective of mind-body interaction.  His work helps define the way in which states of bodily arousal are controlled by the brain and how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are shaped by physiological changes in the body.  Hugo’s team applies this understanding to gain new insights into psychological symptoms and mental health disorders, including psychosis and anxiety. 

Hugo leads active research programmes within BSMS, and as co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex; these projects combine patient studies, neuroimaging and autonomic physiology.  He also works clinically as a Consultant Psychiatrist within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  His specialist clinical service evaluates neurodevelopmental conditions in adults.  


Prof Critchley lectures undergraduate medical students (including the psychosomatic medicine sub-course) and supervises IRPs and summer studentships. He teaches psychiatry trainees on the MRCPsych, MScPsychiatry and MSc Cognitive Neuroscience.  Via BSMS Psychiatry and jointly with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and the KSS Deanery, he hosts and organizes postgraduate academic symposia for psychiatrists three times a year.  He is a supervisor of Doctorate students (presently Hielke Prins, Sophie Betka, Georgina Heron, Alexandra Herman, Tom Grice-Jackson and Jake Butterworth).  He also regularly presents as an invited keynote lecturer at symposia and international conferences.

Selected publications

Nikolaou K, Field M, Critchley H, Duka T. Acute Alcohol Effects on Attentional Bias are Mediated by Subcortical Areas Associated with Arousal and Salience Attribution. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013;38(7):1365-1373.

Critchley H, Harrison N. Visceral Influences on Brain and Behavior. Neuron. 2013;77(4):624-638.

Seth A, Critchley H. Extending predictive processing to the body: Emotion as interoceptive inference. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 2013;36(03):227-228.

Garfinkel S, Critchley H. Interoception, emotion and brain: new insights link internal physiology to social behaviour. Commentary on:: "Anterior insular cortex mediates bodily sensibility and social anxiety" by Terasawa et al. (2012). Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2013;8(3):231-234.

Bogdanov V, Bogdanova O, Gorlov D, Gorgo Y, Dirckx J, Makarchuk M et al. Alexithymia and Empathy Predict Changes in Autonomic Arousal During Affective Stimulation. Cognitive And Behavioral Neurology. 2013;26(3):121-132.

Garfinkel S, Barrett A, Minati L, Dolan R, Seth A, Critchley H. What the heart forgets: Cardiac timing influences memory for words and is modulated by metacognition and interoceptive sensitivity. Psychophysiol. 2013;50(6):505-512.

Christodoulou G, Radulescu E, Medford N, Critchley H, Watten P, Mania K. A 3D Lighting System for fMRI Rendering Fidelity Experiments. International Journal of Interactive Worlds. 2013;:1-17.

Eddy C, Rickards H, Critchley H, Cavanna A. A controlled study of personality and affect in Tourette syndrome. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2013;54(2):105-110.

Hart N, McGowan J, Minati L, Critchley H. Emotional Regulation and Bodily Sensation: Interoceptive Awareness Is Intact in Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders. 2013;27(4):506-518.

Minati L, Campanhã C, Critchley H, Boggio P. Effects of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during a mixed-gambling risky decision-making task. Cognitive Neuroscience. 2012;3(2):80-88.